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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  November 19, 2012 6:00am-8:00am PST

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that's the real cause issue. >> very telling. this is all occurring while the president is in asia. wants to rebalance american policy toward asia but the mideast keeps pulling you back. >> want to thank our panel for being with us this morning. a story we'll continue talking about sadly, likely for the rest of the week. my thanks to you. my thanks to you for watching. "cnn newsroom" with carol costello begins right now. -- captions by vitac -- as you can see, the violence continues in gaza. what you're looking at is an israeli attack on the 24-hour news channel in gaza. this is where, of course, the news is broadcast to the people of gaza. also western journalists operate outside -- inside this building. we do know one person was kimmed in this latest strike. this is actually the second time this building has been struck in the past two days. obviously the israeli military wants to take out any -- any information getting out to the
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gazans at this point. wolf blitzer is eight miles from gaza's border. can you tell us anything about this building? >> the only thing i know about the building, there are several media organizations that have their base in gaza in that building. the israelis -- i spoke yesterday with an israeli army spokesman who said there are also hamas organizations or hamas related infrastructure in that building. that's why they say they're targeting that building. but there are several arabic language news organizations based there. as you point out, carol, this is the second time the israelis have gone after that building. so other than what the israelis are saying, they say there are legitimate targets there, what we're seeing on the ground from our own reporters, that's escalating into a pretty serious development even as diplomats are trying to achieve some sort of cease-fire. when you see what's going on that cease-fire looks increasingly remote. let's see what happens behind
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the scenes there. >> i have heard, wolf, israel says if there's not some sort of cease-fire agreed to on behalf of gaza that a ground war will begin soon. what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, that's what the israelis are saying. the prime minister of israel, benjamin netanyahu in his cabinet meeting yesterday made that point. they're not going to wait forever. we do know that there have been a lot of international efforts to get a cease-fire, including an israeli envoy, a special envoy who went to cairo to meet with egyptian officials. the egyptian government, president mohamed morsi has been very much involved in trying to achieve a cease-fire together with representatives from turkey, from qatar. president and the secretary of state, the u.s. president, they've been talking to all sorts of leaders. let's see what happens. i'm only a few miles north of the gaza border right now. it's eerie here. the cafes are pretty much deserted. i was walking along the
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mediterranean beach. normally there would be a lot of people, it's a beautiful day here. pretty much deserted. i just got to an israeli area where there's a shelter for school kids. you hear the sirens going off. as soon as i got here a few hours ago the sirens went off. the soldiers rushed everyone into these bomb shelters, into these areas. you could see why people are terrified about what's going on. apparently in this particular inciden incident, when i heard the thuds, when i heard the sirens going off, the iron dome, this anti-missile system, seemed to have worked. we saw huge plumes from what this iron dome system had done. it's bad on both sides. you ask how much longer is it going to wait before the israelis move in? i know israelis don't want to move personnel forces and ground
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forces into gaza. i suspect the prime minister and his government do not have a whole lot of patience right now. >> please stand by. we have ben wedeman actually in gaza city. ben, we're continuing to look at this media building in gaza. we're trying to get ben. wolf, bear with me. as we take a look at these live pictures of this smoking building that's been hit twice in the last two days, this houses the gazan press. it's a 24-hour news channel, i guess kind of like cnn. ben wedeman is here. ben, tell us about this particular broadcast center and why israel so badly wants to take it out. >> reporter: this is an office building. it contains in addition to lawyers' offices and others, a television station associated with the hamas movement. what's unclear, however, is what exactly their intention was.
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the first floor, there's a lawyers office. there's no sign for the television. my understanding, that's a few floors above where this building was hit. this building was hit in the upper floors, its top floor yesterday. very early yesterday. so it's not altogether clear what the target is. i saw the ambulance services brought out one person who was severely burned. we have subsequently learned that he is dead. they are still looking inside the building to see if there are others who may still be alive or injured or dead inside. the fire trucks have been spraying water. it does appear the fire is being put out. but as far as exactly what israel's intended target was for this strike, i think we'll have to ask them. >> right. and, you know, i was just wondering because, you know, maybe the goal here is to cut off what the israelis would call
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propaganda to the gazan people. >> reporter: well, certainly that is one of their concerns. they've talked about trying to destroy hamas's communications network. but the television itself, yes, it does put out obviously news with a very, shall we say, slanted point of view or rather a subjective point of view. but other stations here continue to function, stations that are equally sympathetic to the viewpoints of hamas. >> wolf, let me ask you this question. the death toll continues to rise, especially in gaza. 92 dead so far. that includes women and children. three dead within israel. >> reporter: i'm sorry. i cannot hear what you're saying. >> that's okay, ben. we're going to have ben stand by. wolf, can you hear me? >> reporter: i can hear you,
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carol. god. >> just on my question, 92 have died in gaza city. three have died in israel. as there are more casualties in gaza, will it get tougher for, let's say, the egyptian prime minister to broker any sort of cease-fire? >> there's no doubt, carol, it's going to be very tough given the feelings on both sides. and if the diplomats, i know that ban ki-moon, the u.s. secretary general is on his way to egypt and israel. he's trying to get something going. i know representatives from all these other countries that have relations with hamas like e kwijipt and qatar and turkey, they're trying to get something going. there's intense efforts behind the scenes. i don't know if they're going to result in anything. i was asked yesterday what i thought the chances of a serious-fire were. i thought yesterday about 50/50. i haven't been able to talk with anybody in a position of authority here in israel. i've been here in the southern part along the border not far from the -- from gaza. but it doesn't look very
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promising. let's see if the diplomats can get something going. you point out that the feelings on both sides seem to be intensifying in a bad way. and i think that's right. >> senator john mccain came out and said, you know, we should send bill clinton in. he should be the mediator in this latest conflict. would israel or gaza welcome bill clinton? >> reporter: i've been saying that, actually, myself. i wrote a blog post on our "situation room" blog post months ago saying after george mitchell, the obama administration's special envoy for israeli/palestinian peace negotiations, after he ended his tour without any success at all. that's been more than a year ago. maybe a year and a half or so ago. i said they need -- really, they need someone who's got clout with the israelis. who's got clout with the palestinians in the arab world. i thought bill clinton, especially with his wife leaving as secretary of state, maybe that would be a good assignment for him. he's taken on other assignments like haiti relief, for example,
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the tsunami. i know he got -- the final months of his presidency to a deal between the israelis and the palestinians. i think mccain may be on to something. i don't know if bill clinton would want to do it. i've asked him that question in an interview i did with him a few months back. he didn't say no. he didn't say yes. but i think they need someone of that caliber to -- assuming that they achieve a cease-fire and that there's no great guarantee that they will, let's say they do, they need to follow up quickly with trying to get negotiations under way. a peace process that would lead to what they call a two-state solution. israel and palestine. they need someone of that caliber to lead the negotiations. if he's willing to do it, if the president's willing to ask him, i think that would probably be a positive step that would be welcomed by the israelis and the palestinians. >> stand by again, wolf. we're going to bring in fred bl pleitgen. he's in gaza city. he's going to talk more about the media center, building under attack in the last two days by
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israel. what more can you tell us? >> reporter: it appears as though the media center that was targeted in gaza, this is the second time in just as many days that this has happened. we're still trying to get details of what is going on on the ground there. but as you said, it was only yesterday that the media center apparently was targeted. what the israeli side is saying this was a targeted strike that did not target journalists. in fact, they were trying to hit communications equipment that was being used by militants there in gaza. not only hamas but also islamic jihad as well. of course, journalists that we've been speaking to who were in the building at the time say that there was no presence of any militants in that building. and that this strike did not appear to be targeting any sort of militants, but rather that there were only civilians in that building. >> speaking of civilian casualties, there have been many within gaza. israel has said it's trying to be careful. of course, gaza thinks something entirely different. from your vantage point, what's
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going on? >> reporter: well, i mean, certainly the israeli side will say they're trying to minimize civilian casualties. they are speaking of the air strikes that are going on in gaza as, quote, sushrgical strikes. they're saying what they're trying to do is take out terrorist infrastructure. hamas and jihad infrastructure there. command control centers. also prominent figures among hamas. for instance, leaders of the hamas rocket launching squads as well. what's happened, however, in the past days is that there have been increased civilian casualties. as well there was a statement by the israeli defense forces in which they hit a building in which they thought they were targeting a leader of the hamas militant wing. but, in fact, there was also another family in that building as well and that this caused civilian casualties on the ground. however, they also say that that incident is still under investigation. that they are doing their utmost to prevent civilians from getting hurt in this conflict.
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>> going back to wolf blitzer, you know, i just want to ask you a question about president obama. he has dipped his toe into this conflict but he is in cambodia right now. he's not in washington. some say he ought to be back in washington dealing with this situation instead of taking a tour of asia. what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, the trip to asia is long planned. obviously he has important interests in that part of the world as well. having covered the president, i was a white house correspondent when bill clinton was president, look, wherever he is in the world, he's got people with him. his national security advisers, he can communicate, he's on the phone whether from air force one or a hotel or wherever he is. he's got secure communications. i'm sure he's on top of this development. the u.s. has critically important interests in the middle east with the israelis and the arabs. i'm sure the president is all over this even as he's engaging in his asian tour. would he have more time if he were just in washington at the white house? obviously. but i think he's all over it. he's got his people, top
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national security advisers who are focused very, very intensely on what's going on here. because if this thing were to escalate, if the iaelis were to move their ground forces in to gaza, the casualties we've seen so far would be very, very minor compared to what would -- what would happen in a very, very densely populated area like that. it would be awful. and the israelis know that. the palestinians know that. and everyone's trying to avoid that. but in the end that may happen. let's see what happens. but in the end, that's certainly a possibility. >> wolf blitzer, thanks so much. fred blpleitgen, ben wedeman. we're going to take a quick break. back with much more in the "newsroom." [ male announcer ] introducing...
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it is 16 minutes past the hour. let me bring you up to date. lots of breaking news to tell you about coming out of gaza city. the media center there is under attack once again for the second time in two days. israeli jets have dropped explosive devices on top of that building. israel says it's not targeting the journalists inside the
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building. but it is targeting a hamas communications system. it wants to take it out. we understand one person has been killed today. ambulances are now on their way to the scene. anderson cooper is not far from that building. he joins us now live. anderson, what are you seeing? >> reporter: well, let me just give you the latest. you can see the building behind me. there's still a little bit of smoke coming from it. three rockets hit the building, low floors of the building. this is different than the strike that occurred yesterday that the israeli defense forces was saying was targeting a hamas antenna. we believe the target of this strike was an islamic jihad official who had an office inside the building. we don't know if he, in fact, was struck. but we believe there was an office of a member of islamic jihad. that may have been the target. that based according to palestinian sources we've been talking to. as you said, there are ambulances on the scene.
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i was there about 15 to 20 minutes ago as they pulled out one of the bodies. the man looked to be alive, though barely. completely burned over his entire body. his clothes had been burned off as well. his wounds seemed quite extensive. we know one person has died. i don't know if that is the person. he was taken away in an ambulance. he appeared alive at the time. certainly was in very bad shape. ambulances responded very quickly as did fire crews. they've been battling the fire now for the last 20 to 30 minutes or so. we've had a number of explosions here throughout the day and a number of rockets as well being fired from gaza city toward israel. but this a very close strike to the area we're at. and as you said, hitting the same building that was hit just yesterday as well. >> well, did civilians living around that building, because i can see it's right in the middle of the city, did they have time to evacuate? were there lots of people there?
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>> well, we don't know how many people may have been in the building at the time. the strike was definitely on the lower floors. perhaps just the first or second floor. and, you know, it didn't look like there were large numbers of injuries. as the building was hit yesterday, the building was believed to be largely evacuated because it had been a target yesterday. people thought it might be a target again. but we're -- at least this one person that's known dead who was inside the building at the time. >> i guess i meant there are buildings around the building that came under attack. and israel has always said we drop pamphlets, make announcements so civilians can get out of the area before we attack. >> reporter: not before every strike are pamphlets dropped. there's a general understanding if you are in what the israeli military has said, and they have dropped pamphlets and sent out text messages in the past, there is a general rule that if they say stay away from any buildings that have hamas members or other groups that they consider
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terrorist groups inside those buildings. pamphlets were not dropped before this. this looked to me like a drone strike. because we actually saw at least two of the rockets entering the building. they entered -- the ones we saw entered from either side of the building. they came from a pretty low angle. it wasn't as if it was a shell being fired from a great distance. it looked like they were being fired pretty low off the ground. >> i can't imagine the fear there in gaza city. can you -- go ahead, anderson. >> reporter: sorry. we just had another explosion off in the distance. >> probably unclear what that is right at the moment. i was just going to ask you about the mood in gaza. are people -- do people want hamas to continue firing rockets into israel or do they want all of this to just stop? >> reporter: you know, i think there's a lot of anger here. at this point there's a lot of resentment. you know, there's a lot of anger at the entire situation. people don't really talk much about, you know, most people
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just want this to stop. people are hiding in their homes. they can't go outside. they're not able to get basic supplies. they're going out only when absolutely necessary. there's a lot of fear and a lot of concern. not just that this immediate situation will stop, but obviously that the larger situation which precipitated it will somehow get resolved. again, the parameters of that or how that would happen at this point is pretty unclear. >> if israel decides to unleash a ground war, what would that mean to the people of gaza? >> reporter: well, we've seen that before back in 2008-2009. you know, it is extraordinarily difficult here if israeli forces were to move in on the ground. this is a very densely populated city. there's obviously the danger for civilians, the danger for women and children increases dramatically if there is a ground offensive. i think folks on both sides of this border, on both sides of this conflict certainly would like to avoid that if at all possible. >> i don't think many in our
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audience realize just how small gaza is. >> reporter: well, yeah. it is. i mean, it's basically twice the size of washington, d.c. gaza city, with some 1.7 million people, it's very densely packed. very narrow alleys. small houses. people living very close to one another. so if rockets are being fired from a residential area, it is very dangerous for all the people obviously around there. and if there is a strike on, you know, israel says they are targeting their strikes. even a targeted strike if they get the target wrong or people are in a house they don't realize or a rocket goes astray, civilians die. we've seen that just yesterday. ten members of a family including four children were kimmkim -- kimmed when israeli aircraft struck a building they said was owned by a hamas official, by a head of a rocket launching unit. initially they had said they'd killed that hamas member. they then walked that back and said they couldn't verify
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whether or not they killed him. they still stand by the attack. but they say it was unfortunate that these members of the family were living in the building at the time. you know, as this progresses, i mean, we're now in day six of this. the actual targets become smaller and smaller. we've now seen israel just over the last 24 hours hitting buildings. last night there was a very loud explosion while we were on the air hitting a police station. a police station that was still being built. so it didn't have a lot of people inside it. they're obviously attempting to hit houses belonging to hamas members as well. so it's not clear how many days of -- of targeted air strikes can continue and continue to actually try to degry date hamas ability to fire rockets. >> just a last question for you, anderson. gaza has basically been under siege by israel for the last several years. israel controls the goods that come in to gaza, come out of gaza. i'm just curious, where does hamas get most of its weapons?
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>> reporter: well, one of the problems is, i mean, traditionally weapons -- rockets have been made here. they haven't been very sophisticated, had much of a range. over the last several years, 2008-2009 since the last conflict, hamas has been able to upgrade the quality of their rockets. they're getting rockets from iran, it's believed. there's a pipeline through various countries. the weapons are smuggled in. they're actually broken apart into smaller pieces. there are tunnels from egypt into gaza that people bring supplies and weapons through as well. and, you know, there is a naval blockade by israeli forces. but these tunnels is one way that things can get in through egypt. and then the weapons are reassembled here. and we've seen much more sophisticated rockets in this conflict, rockets, as you know, that have been able to reach the outskirts of jerusalem, reach tel-aviv as well. >> anderson cooper reporting live from gaza city. we're going to take a short
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good morning to you. thank you for joining us. i'm carol costello. 27 minutes past the hour. this latest round of attacks
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between the israelis and the palestinians is the most intense in three years which leads us to the question, why now? hamas wants israel to end its long blockade of gaza, that's why. gaza has been under siege since 2007. that means israel controls all goods entering the gaza strip, including weapons. and israel strictly enforces that blockade. in recent years israeli's military has boarded ships and halted shipments bound for gaza. an author and scholar focusing on the western world of islam joins us now from new york. good morning. >> good morning. >> so the reason israel controls goods and movement in and out of gaza is to disrupt the ruling party in gaza, which is hamas. of course, the u.s. considers hamas to be a terrorist organization. but the question this morning is, why does hamas think this is the right time to flex its muscle, for lack of a better term? >> well, hamas is facing an enormous amount of pressure both domestically and
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internationally. remember, its external base of operations in syria was lost earlier in the year as a result of the civil war there. so really gaza is the only sole source of hamas's legitimacy. but currently in gaza, hamas is facing an enormous amount of pressure from all of these other smaller, much more radical militant groups that are pressuring hamas to be more -- more emphatic in its response as a resistance group against israel instead of maintaining the cease-fire that it has. at the same time, of course, hamas is dealing with the fact that the palestinian authority in the west bank is in the process of applying for nonstate member status at the united nations which would, again, severely decrease hamas's legitimacy as a representative of the palestinian people. so they see this as a way of maintaining their relevancy, if you will. >> interesting. so israel is, of course, tired of rockets from fgaza fired int the country, into israel.
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some of the talk in israel is definitely hawkish. in an op-ed, the former prime minister's son wrote what does a decisive victory sound like? a tarzan-like cry that lets the entire jungle know in no uncertain terms just who won and just who was defeated. he goes on to write we need to flatten entire neighborhoods in gaza, flatten all of gaza. the americans didn't stop with hiroshima. is that the general consensus in israel? if that's so is a ground war inevitable? >> it's certainly not the general consensus, but it is becoming far more common place for these kinds of extremist voices in the israeli government. particularly the right wing coalition that benjamin netanyahu has formed. to make these kinds of statements, which do really nothing but continue to isolate and delegitimate israel on the international stage. look, whether we like it or not, hamas is here to stay. it is the government of gaza. there's very little anyone can
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do to actually dislodge them from power. what has to happen is that there has to be some sort of long-term peace settlement between israel and the hamas government which actually was in the process of being put together as this conflict began. otherwise we're going to see this happen every couple of years. there's a statement in israel about mowing the lawn in ga. every couple of years we just bomb them and hope that that either dislodges hamas or weakens it. but every year hamas has come back stronger and stronger and stronger. without a permanent settlement, we're going to keep seeing these conflicts over and over again. >> so the egyptian president, he's trying to calm things down. former member of the muslim brotherhood. is clearly on the palestinian side. yet he's trying to broker the cease-fire between the two. so as israel starts talking tougher and maybe unleashes a ground war, what might that do to israel's relationship with egypt and maybe the united states? >> a ground war would be
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disastrous for everyone involved. as anderson just said, you're talking about a place, gaza, that is the most densely packed region on earth. it's going to result in hundreds if not thousands of civilian casualties. it will continue to dele ygitime israel. certainly it could lead to the end of the peace treaty between israel and egypt which would be a disaster for both sides. but to be perfectly honest, that seems like a far cry. i don't think that we're going to be seriously thinking about a ground war. netanyahu doesn't want anything of the sort. remember, he's got an election coming up. he's got an eye on mid-january. he feels as though that he's in a very good place. that he's going to win the most seats in parliament. and a sustained ground war could -- could really damage his chances in the political realm. that's something he's not going to -- to risk. >> reza aslan, thank you for
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enlightning us. we appreciate it. there's some sort of fire fight going on there right now. fred pleitgen isn't far from this part of the world. after the break hopefully we'll get him up live for you. stick around.
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the violence continues between israel and gaza city. these are pictures right along the israel/gaza border. i want to put up a map. you can cover me. put up that map. i want to show exactly where this is. in this small area that we're talking about, there's some sort of fire fight along the border on the israel side of the israeli/gaza border. fred pleitgen is on the phone right now. he is near that area. what's going on, fred? >> reporter: hi, carol. i can't really see that area from my vantage point. it's really unclear what's going on there. we do see there is a lot of activity going on over gaza at this point in time.
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there's, of course, the drones that are in the air. there was an air strike quite recently on some position in gaza. but there's also some outgoing fire from gaza into israel. in fact, the position i was at just a couple of minutes ago, we had some mortars land near there. we had to take cover. it does seem as though there is quite an intense back and forth going on at this point in time where before today, a little earlier, it seemed to be a little more quiet. but now it seems as though things are picking up. there's a lot of air raid sirens that have been going on in the israeli area around gaza. then, of course, there were rocket impacts in towns as well. it seems to be getting more intense. can't see that fire fight from my vantage point. >> from your vantage point can you see the israeli hardware lined up along the border as far as tanks and other military equipment? >> reporter: yeah, certainly some of that. the way the israelis are doing it is that they're collecting their armor and other gear in sort of smaller collection areas
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rather than one big one. because that obviously would also be a target for any sort of fire coming out of gaza. certainly we see a lot of israeli tanks at collection points. also armored personnel carriers as well as armored bulldozers that are sort of going into the area. also there's a lot of trucks on the road around the area that are carrying tanks and also other military hardware. we saw a large column of tanks as we were going into this area. that was moving towards gaza as well. the other thing that you have in that area constantly is you have israeli forward patrols that are monitoring the area around gaza, that are checking things out. we met up with one of these forward patrols. they at some point told us we had to get out of there because they felt something was about to happen. literally a few minutes later mortars started dropping on that exact location. >> fred -- >> reporter: a lot of buildup going on as well. >> fred, thank you. we've got to interrupt. back to gaza city and anderson cooper. we understand something else has
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been hit. anderson, what's happening? >> reporter: there have actually been two explosions probably in the last five or six minutes or so. one you can probably still see the smoke far off in the distance. that's pretty far away. the other one which was a large explosion occurred probably about four or five blocks away from where the media center was hit probably half an hour or 40 minutes ago. a lot of ambulances, first responders who were on scene at the fire at the media center have now headed over to another location where we saw a strike. we don't have any information on any casualties that may have resulted from that strike, though. >> ask you kind of a silly question. when you say explosions, can you describe them for us? >> reporter: well, it's unclear what -- what device actually would set it off. wait. we have now two rockets -- you can't actually see them. it looked like tracer. i can see the trail of two rockets actually that have just been launched. i can actually -- sorry. two rockets have just been
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launched from gaza city toward israel in that direction. you asked about what kind of explosions. you know, there are various options. there are possible drone strikes. what is that? there are possible drone strikes. and we believe the hit on the media center may have been from drone strikes because the rockets that went into the building came from kind of a low angle. there's also israeli ships offshore that can fire projectiles into the city. of course, there's shells that can be fired from israeli territory and also israeli aircraft. so there's a number of different options for how the ordinance is delivered. so there's the variety of devices that are being used. >> what was the area? we could see the tracers you were talking about. we have a shot from the israeli/gaza border. you can see the tracers in the sky. i would assume if israel's firing rockets from that vantage point, perhaps those rockets would make their way to gaza city. i was also curious, anderson,
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where are you? are you safe? >> reporter: we're in a building that we feel is a good location in gaza city. you know, we -- israel -- the israeli military has put out a thing saying stay away from any buildings that have hamas members inside them. we believe there's no reason this building that we're in right now would be a target. the media center over there that was hit, which did house a number of local media groups as well as some foreign news services, which has now been hit twice, israel said yesterday there was a hamas antenna on the building. and we believe an islamic jihad official was killed inside there about half an hour ago who had an office inside that building. >> yeah. israel said -- >> reporter: you have to be very careful about where you are and who else is in your building. >> quite understand that. thank you, anderson. we're going to take a short break. when we come back, general james spider marx will join us. ♪
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the violence in israel and gaza shows no sign of letting up. according to israel's military, gaza has fired more than 1,000 rockets at israel. and israelis say they have struck more than 1,300 palestinian targets. so far we've been told at least 92 are dead in gaza including women and children. three are dead in israel.
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peace talks under way in egypt, at least trying to head to some sort of cease-fire agreement between the sides. but optimism is certainly hard to find in the war zone. cnn contributor and retired army general james "spider" marks joining us now. good morning, general. >> hi, carol. >> i'd like to talk first about the strike on the media center in gaza city. according to reuters an islamic jihad local commander was killed in the media center thanks to an israeli air strike. how does israel know he's inside there? >> israel is in the neighborhood. they have been there for quite some time. they have to own the neighborhood in order to live there. so israel has sources and has folks on the ground in gaza and they have forever. so they have a pretty good sense of what's going on and they're tracking very key targets as a result of that kind of what i would call intimate human intelligence they can get. clearly israel sees the media outlets in gaza as a means to distribute what they would call
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operational information. so in their mind, it meets the criteria for engagement. >> israel said it's being very, very careful not to hit civilians. in your mind is it being careful enough? >> oh, sure. israel really needs to do that. and they -- and they will do their utmost. they have precision guided weapons. they also have, as i have indicated, they probably have folks on the ground that are lazing or illuminating targets as well. h is all very, very covert. they have to be able to do that to try to minimize the collateral damage at this early stage. they don't want to provoke some type of an operation across the border. i would hope israel would want to show restraint and not put forces on the ground, but that's the inevitable next step unless they can get this rocket fire to cease. >> well, let me ask you about if israel decides to unleash a ground war. what might that look like? what would that mean for gaza city? >> well, it's not going to be nice, carol, at all, as you can well imagine. israel will be up armored.
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they'll use their tanks. they'll use their fighting vehicles. they'll have to dismount their soldiers once they get into very tight compartments. but it will be very nasty, compartmentalized fighting. fighting in urban or compartmentalized terrain is always difficult and inevitably leads to collateral damage. that means families will suffer. >> well, hamas says it's not going to retreat even if israel unleashes that ground war. does gaza have a military or any way to fight back? >> well, hamas is very well armed. they understand the terrain better than anybody else. if the israelis come in, certainly the israelis have a very good sense of that terrain. but hamas owns that terrain. they have what's called internal lines. they'll be able to react very, very quickly. their response times will be very fast. they'll be able to establish tactical ambushes to bring the idf, israeli defense forces, in and then execute these very vicious attacks, not unlike what we've seen in places in baghdad
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in the early stages of our combat there and certainly in afghanistan as well. so hamas does have a capability. and it can be a very brutal fight on the ground. >> retired army general james "spider" marks, thanks. thanks for sharing your insight. we appreciate it. we're going to take a quick break. we'll be back with much more.
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51 minutes past the hour. time to check other top stories this morning. the oil platform explosion in the gulf of mexico caught on camera. >> holy [ bleep ]. look at that. something just blew up. >> yeah, it did. >> sadly, it did. the video was made by a sport fishing tv show. 11 people were injured and one man died after that explosion on friday. coast guard officials said about 28 gallons of fuel spilled after the blast. vice president joe biden gets a close look at the damage caused by superstorm sandy. he met with first responders who
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lost their homes and sat in on a briefing on the recovery efforts in seaside heights, new jersey. biden said, quote, we're not going anywhere and he added that recovery is a national responsibility. the florida congressional race between controversial republican allen west and democrat patrick murphy may finally be over. a recount showed murphy holding his slim lead of less than 2,000 votes. now it's just up to the state election board to certify the results. allen has refused to concede. of this hunk of metal may not look like much but it's the soyuz capsule. executives from hostess go to court today as they try to get a judge's blessing to liquidate the company. they announced plans to shut it down late last week citing a continuing strike by the bakers union. already there are reports the makers of babst blue ribbon beer and tsay cakes could step in and
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for a great retirement plan with low cost investments. ♪ this is cnn breaking news. >> so at last check about ten minutes ago, there were two giant explosions in gaza city. we know from earlier in the morning the media center in gaza city was attacked for a second time in two days, and reuters is reporting a jihadist, a terrorist, was killed inside the building. as for the other two explosions, anderson cooper witnessed them, heard them. any more word on them, anderson? >> reporter: none on the two other explosions. i was actually at the scene of the strike at the center. we saw it from our location and ran over there. i'm not sure if it was the
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member of islamic jihad that was believed to have been killed. that was reportedly the target. it was on the lower floors where we believed his office was. that's the most significant development in the last 30 or 40 minutes ago. the call for prayers is just now sounding. we saw another explosion off in the distance. i can see a cloud over on the horizon, kind of a black cloud of smoke from that and no doubt we'll be trying to get more information on that. as night descends, this is traditionally where we start to see more strikes by israeli forces on various targets throughout gaza city. >> is there a sense of inevitability there, anderson, that israel will, indeed, unleash a ground war? >> reporter: i think people aren't sure. i think it's very difficult, people don't really have a sense of what they're going to do, and
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i'm not sure on either side of the border people are really sure what is going to happen. there's a lot of support in israel for this operation as it's been conducted so far. there's probably less support if you look at a recent poll number for a ground offensive. most people know how difficult and what a ground offensive would mean for the city. we've seen it before back in 2008, 2009. but there's certainly a lot of trepidation here in gaza about any possible ground incursion, ground invasion, and we'll just have to wait and see. >> so as night falls and the attacks intensify coming from israel, what's it like in gaza city? where do people go? >> reporter: well, people stay indoors as they do really, frankly, throughout the day. this is a city where usually when you're out on the streets, there's large numbers of people, shops open, people are sitting in cafes, people are going about their day-to-day business. that has ground to a halt. most businesses are shuttered,
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steel shutters are down, have closed them off to the street. you see a few people walking around generally with some sense of purpose. usually they have to go buy supplies, have to buy cooking oil, have to buy food for their families, but then they get home as quickly as possible because people want to be off the streets. you don't see a lot of vehicles out on the streets. vehicles that you do see often have the words tv written on them if they're being used by any reporters just in the hopes that might identify them as a media vehicle and give them some measure of protection. >> anderson cooper reporting live from gaza city. we'll get back to you. thank you. the next hour of cnn "newsroom" begins after a short break. they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout. there when you need them. helping millions of americans over the centuries. the strength of a global financial leader. the heart of a one-to-one relationship.
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together for your future. ♪ this is cnn breaking news. >> and good morning. thank you so much for joining us. i'm carol costello. this morning a reminder of how dangerous it is to report from a combat zone. watch this.
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unbelievable. that's gaza city about 90 minutes ago. cnn's arwa damon says an israeli air strike has hit a building that houses a news agency connected to militants. international concerns grow. troubling numbers continue to pile up. israel says it's struck more than 1,300 palestinian targets and israel's military says gaza has fired more than 1,000 rockets in response. also growing this morning, the death toll. at least 92 people reported dead in gaza, including women and children, three reported dead in israel. peace talks under way in egypt, but optimism is definitely hard to find in the war zone. our reporters are covering each side of this conflict. we're trying to get fred -- >> reporter: there's another attack, another rocket alert going on right now. we have to get out of here. >> reporter: we know ten members of one family, also two media centers -- whoa!
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that was a rather large explosion. >> all right. just some examples of how the violence continues to happen in gaza city and, of course, also across the border in israel. anderson cooper is in gaza city and he joins us by phone now. just a short time ago, the media center in gaza city came under attack for the second time in two days. tell us about that, anderson. >> reporter: we were witnessing the media center which got attacked. three rockets slammed into the media center earlier today, probably about an hour or so, an hour and 20 minutes or so ago, and i ran to the scene. first responders had just gotten to the scene. a fire truck as well as ambulance crews as well. they pulled out the body of one person who was severely burned, his clothes had been burned off. his skin had largely been burned off as well. i'm not sure if he survived. we do know at least one person was killed, and according to sources here, it was a member of
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islamic jihad. so that was likely the target of this strike. it's believed he had an office in the building on the lower floors. as i said, this is one of the media centers struck yesterday when israel defenses said they were trying to strike a hamas antenna but clearly this target was very different and was on the lower floors. that building, the fire has largely been put out, but there's been a number of explosions since then. we've also seen some outgoing rockets being fired by groups here in gaza city toward israel. unclear what the impact of those has been in israel, carol. >> thank you, anderson. let's see if we can get more information about that from fred pleitg pleitgen. he's on the israeli/gaza border. >> reporter: it's close to the israeli/gaza border and this is a town that's been hit by a lot of rockets in the last couple days.
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they have had rocket sirens go off earlier today. really this entire region has had a lot of rockets coming in, especially in the past couple hours. we've been traveling this region. we have heard these rocket alarms go off. we've seen impacts and felt impacts very close to us from rockets as well as mortars. this town is actually a very interesting one because it is directly in the line of fire, especially from those very short-range rockets, and only yesterday what happened was that there was a direct -- carol, we have an alarm going off right now. i am going to have to seek cover. we're going to go over here. we're going to have to get into safety. >> you go. you go, go, go. >> reporter: we're going to have to get down. >> this always makes me so nervous. >> reporter: there's no place to go. what you have to do is get down on the ground and wait for it to pass. just hope it doesn't hit anywhere here. they're telling us to go inside the shop. we'll stay here. seems like something impacted in the distance. not sure how far away.
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okay. the alarm stopped. it was over there? okay. all right. i think we can get up again. are you still there, carol? >> we are still there and we're nervous, fred. you're not even wearing any protection. are you okay? >> reporter: well, yeah, we're fine. we're fine. yeah, so it seems as though the impact was quite a ways in the distance, i would say a couple miles probably in the distance. there over in the sky, you probably won't be able to see it there, there's an interceptor missile taking off. that's the iron dome interceptor. if you just saw the flash in the sky, that was a rocket coming out of gaza that was just intercepted right now. it appears as though at this point in time there is another barrage being fired from gaza into this part of israel close to the israeli border. as i was just telling you, this town here on the border is one that does take a lot of fire very frequently. so this is really something that is very commonplace for the
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people here. they have sort of an eerie daily routine with this. if we pan over here, this is quite interesting, you can see the shops here are closed. there was another impact in the distance. it seems one of the rockets was not intercepted but the shops here, most of them are closed, very few people in the streets right now. so this is really what life is like here and this is obviously something that's increased a lot, of course, with the ongoing conflict. there's another impact in the distance. it seems as though right now there's a barrage being fired off. a lot of rockets seem to be being picked off by the iron dome missile interceptor system. there's still a plume of white smoke in the sky you won't be able to see because it's getting quite dark, from our camera. but it seems as though at least for our area here, they're saying the alarm is over. certainly there seem to be rockets being fired out of gaza at this point in time. twl >> i'm amaze the missile defense system has been so very effective. >> reporter: it certainly has.
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people here are amazed by that as well. it really was. interestingly enough, when it was put into -- when the program was started in 2007, it was really something that was very controversial in the israeli military, not many people wanted to actually do it, but now that it's up and running, it has intercepted a lot of missiles. we keep hearing 1,000 rockets launched out of gaza and only about 300 picked off but the iron dome is actually amazing in that it only picks off missiles that hit populated areas. if it tracks a missile that's going to hit a field, it's not going to pick it off. that's most of the missiles that are happening. so most of the rockets that are going to hit population centers are actually picked off by the iron dome. now, of course, there is not 100% success rate and there have been hits. there have been hits in this town, in a nearby town. there have been people killed and wounded as well but certainly the iron dome is something that no doubt has saved lives here on the ground, has caused people to not suffer injury when that might have happened in the past, but, of course, the israeli defense
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forces are also warning people don't lose your guard. if you hear a siren, get inside even with the iron dome out there. but it is really a remarkable system. >> it really is. we just had the video our viewers saw was of the iron dome. i guess a rocket on the way to intercept an incoming missile. it's just amazing. but you stay safe fred fligplei. you're a brave guy. unbelievably there are cease-fire negotiations under way. nicholas burns is a former u.s. under secretary of state under george bush. he's a former ambassador to nato. welcome. >> thank you. >> i mean, you have witnessed these kinds of situations before. as you witness all of what's happening this morning, what goes through your mind? >> well, carol, this is an extraordinarily dangerous situation, and it's clear that israel's facing a new strategic threat. because of these changes in the arab world, hamas has longer
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range rockets that can now range tel aviv and even jerusalem and that would have been unthinkable in the past. israel has to worry about its northern border because syria has been firing shells into israel's northern border last week. it's got to worry always about hezbollah in northern israel and it has in egypt now a government with which it has a formal peace agreement, the camp david accords, but a government that's clearly siding with hamas. so the israelis have to be very concerned to denigrate hamas' ability to launch the rockets but they have to find a way to end the fighting as quickly as they can because the israeli population is still exposed. there was an attack this morning by hamas rockets. >> and i want to ask you about those cease-fire negotiations. there are u.n. officials in egypt right now. egypt is trying to broker a cease-fire agreement with hamas. hamas seems not to be budging. so explain to us like if you're the egyptian president, what are you saying to the leader of hamas? >> the egyptians are in a very
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difficult situation because on the one hand mohamed morsi, the president of egypt, the muslim brotherhood, in part made its name by outright support for hamas for a radical brand of palestinian nationalism not the more moderate brand of fatah on the west bank. yet the egyptians cannot afford a situation where the united states walks away from its military aid. the egyptians have placed themselves into the center of this extraordinary drama. they're trying to work out a cease-fire. they've been working with the turkish prime minister, prime minister erdogan, the leadership of qatar, and now the u.n. chief ban ki-moon, secretary-general of the united nations, is going to be in egypt today. the sides are very far apart. it doesn't a cease-fire is imminent. but the egyptians have to work for one. they don't want to see a further
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intensification of this war. >> with all of that going on there's some hawkish talk been israel. i want to read you an op-ed. it was written by the former prime minister's son. he writes, quote, what does a desif sif victory sound like? a tarzan like cry that lets the entire jungle know in no uncertain terms just who won and who was defeated. he goes on to right, we need to flatten entire neighborhoods in gaza, flatten all of gaza. the americans didn't stop with hiroshima. the japanese weren't surrendering fast enough so they hit nagasaki, too. is a ground war inevitable? >> i do not believe that's the consensus in israel. i think the views you just read out are reprehensible views. the israelis and the palestinians at some point in the future are going to have to make a peace. at this point we have to say, hamas started this fight. hamas was the one firing rockets into southern israel.
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for many weeks and many months and as president obama has been saying, israel has a clear right to defend itself. but there comes a point where the israelis are going to have an interest in a cease-fire and i hope that point will be in the next day or two because the civilian casualties are mounting in gaza as your koncorresponden have shown just today and yesterday. if the israelis try a ground invasion there's a real fear in the united states and in western europe and in arab capitals, that will lead to further bloodshed, further violence, and i remember, carol, the lebanon war of 2006 where in the first day it is went in israel's favor, and then the whole world and the whole war turned on israel when there were civilian casualties in lebanon itself. so the israelis certainly have a right to defend themselves, but they also have to be careful here. a cease-fire i think is in the interest of both sides. the question is will egypt be adept enough in putting together that kind of cease-fire? >> we'll see. ambassador nicholas burns, thank you so much for joining us. we appreciate it. >> thank you. okay. let's head back to gaza city and
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arwa damon. ar arwa, despite talk of a cease-fire, it looks like israel is not exactly ready to ease up. >> reporter: neither is hamas at this point. throughout the entire day we have been seeing rockets fired from gaza toward israel and, of course, the israeli intense responses to all of that. now, just in the last hour and a half the tall building behind me, i don't know if you can see it at this point, was hit. there were two missiles that slammed in fro one side. a third one in the front we were seeing dark black smoke billowing from it. a senior member of islamic jihad, he was the information head of their military office. that building also though is where islamic jihad's television station operates out of. they're not the only journalists who were there.
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that building was used by a number of international organizations until it was actually hit yesterday as well. shortly after the strike on that building, we then saw an explosion just a few blocks behind it. there have been a series of explosions here since then. none of this bodes well for people on either side of the conflict. we have been out in the streets speaking with residents of gaza or those residence who you could find and they're utterly terrified about all of this talk about a possible israeli ground invasion. they know exactly what that means to them only too well having lived through it back in 2008-2009, and, of course, in the decades well before that. >> i was just going to ask you, you know, night has fallen now, and the attacks increase at night. so where do people go to stay safe in gaza city? >> well, that's the problem. there is nowhere for people here to actually go where they can rest assured that they will, in fact, be safe. when these air strikes happen
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here, there are no sirens to give them warning. on some occasions we hear from people that the israelis do call, tell them to evacuate an area, but recently we've been hearing from many more that that, in fact, has not taken place. we were out in the market earlier today. we met a woman who said in her particular neighborhood the israelis had warned them not to go out but because of that there were no markets open there. she actually had to hitch a ride with an ambulance just to buy groceries, food for her family of 13. you walk around the streets here during the day, most people are inside. you see very few out on the street. most of the shops are closed. when you walk through the streets, you do get the sense that you're in a war zone, but you get the sense that you're in a war zone that residents would have fled trying to find safer ground, but the reality is that the 1.5 million-plus residents of this strip, they have nowhere else to go. they are literally not able to leave their homes in this part of the country so they're effectively trapped. any measures that they take to keep themselves safe are
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superficial at best. >> and just a final question before i let you go, in light of all of that, why aren't the people of gaza city begging hamas to stop firing rockets into israel and make all of this stop? >> reporter: well, it's a bit more complicated than that because they do not necessarily view this conflict as being the fault of hamas and hamas' firing rockets into israel. remember, this is a decades' old conflict. the tensions between these communities have existed for quite some time now, and they blame much of the violence that is taking place right now on the israelis and israelis longstanding attitude towards the palestinian population. that being said, people are not necessarily blindly supporting hamas, but at the same time they are not going, they say, to allow the israelis to continue to bombard them and to act pretty much at will when it comes to their attitude towards the palestinians. so it's an incredibly more
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complicated conflict than the simple fact of having the palestinians themselves ask hamas not to fire rockets from particular areas. >> i just want -- i know i said that was the last question but i have one more. in the jerusalem post the former prime minister's son wrote an op-ed. he said the people of gaza city are really to blame for this. they're the ones that elected hamas to the government. hamas is a terrorist organization, so in essence, he's saying, it's their fault this is happening to them over and over and over again. >> reporter: and you would find that met here with a lot of anger, a lot of scorn, but not a lot of surprise because for many of the residents here, they believe that that view is shared by a vast majority of israelis. people here most certainly do not view or categorize hamas as being a terrorist organization. they believe that they do have a right to defend themselves to protect the people of palestine,
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and, again, this is a decades long conflict. these two communities have been at war for quite some time now, to say the least, and the perspective towards hamas differs greatly when you speak to an israeli and when you speak to a palestinian. >> arwa damon, thanks so much. we'll take a quick break and be back with much more in the "newsroom." and feel like a green giant. ♪ ho ho ho ♪ green giant
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19 minutes past the hour. thanks for joining us this morning. president obama is on the last leg of his historic trip to asia. he arrived in cambodia just hours ago along with secretary of state hillary clinton to attend the east asian summit. just before that, president obama made history as the first sitting u.s. president to visit myanmar formerly known as burma. he praised the nation on one hand for making progress in trying to move past its repressive history, but he says there are still steps for it to take to reach full democratic reform. >> i stand before you today as president of the most powerful nation on earth but recognizing that once the color of my skin would have denied me the right to vote. and so that should give you some
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sense that if our country can transcend its differences, then yours can, too. every human being within these borders have a part of your nation's story and you should embrace that. >> president obama began his three-nation tour in thailand before going to myanmar and now cambodia. okay. let's head back to gaza city. the media center came under attack by israeli forces. two missiles hitting that building. we understand an islamist jihadist leader was killed. he had offices in that building. that was the israeli target, not western journalists who sometimes work out of that building. most of them had already evacuated. also, we brought you the story of the border town between gaza city and israel. our fred pleitgen was talking about these rockets you were
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seeing launched from the israeli side of the border and also he saw rockets launched from the other side of the border. here is what happened next. >> carol, we have an alarm going off right now. i'm going to have to seek cover. we're going to go over here. let's take the camera off the tripod. we have to get into safety. >> you go. you go, go, go. >> queer going to have to get down. this always makes me so nervous. >> reporter: no place to go here really. you have to get down on the ground and wait for it to pass. just hope it doesn't hit anywhere here. they're telling us to go inside the shop. no, we'll stay here. all right. seems like something impacted in the distance, not sure how far away. okay. the alarm stopped. it was over there? okay. all right. i think we can get up again. all right. are you guys still there, carol? >> we are still there and we're nervous, fred. are you sure -- you're not even wearing any protection.
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are you okay? >> reporter: well, yeah, we're fine. we're fine. yeah, so it seems as though the impact was quite a ways in the distance, i would say a couple miles in the distancdistance. in the sky there's an interceptor missile taking off. if you just saw the flash in the sky, that was a rocket coming out of gaza that was just intercepted right now. so it appears as though at this point in time there is another barrage being fired from gaza into this part of israel close to the israeli border. as i was just telling you, this town here on the border is one that does take a lot of fire very frequently, so this is really something that is very commonplace for the people here. they have sort of an eerie daily routine with this, but, of course, it's something that completely disrupts daily lives. >> all right. fred pleitgen reporting and he's a-okay, and we're glad we're able to say that. we're going to take a quick break and we'll be back with much more in the "newsroom."
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this is cnn breaking news. >> 26 minutes past the hour. this latest round of attacks between the israelis and palestinians have the most intense in three years which leads us to so many questions.
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hamas wants israel to end its long blockade of gaza. gaza has been under siege since 2007 and that means israel controls all goods entering the gaza strip, including weapons. and israel strictly enforces that blockade. israeli military has boarded ships and halted shipments bound for gaza. reza is a member of the council on foreign relations. he joins us from new york. thank you for sticking around. >> my pleasure. >> so the violence continues unabated. it's nightfall there now and the rockets have increased in number. what do you make of this? where are we headed? because i just talked to ambassador burns, he says he can't understand why israel would consider a ground war. what do you think 1234. >> well, i also think that a ground war is a far off possibility. again, i think if you look at what happened in 2008 where
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operation cast lead, you had 1,400 palestinians killed. israel's international legitimacy was greatly damaged as nick burns mentioned, and currently right now with elections coming in israel in mid-january, i don't see that bibi netanyahu has any desire to escalate this conflict. at the same time however, he has to make sure that, especially with the elections in the united states, obama's re-election and the fact that a possible military strike against iran seems like a distant -- ever more distant project, netanyahu has to burnish his military credentials and i think this at least air attack against gaza is a way to do that. >> so how does this end then? if it doesn't end with a ground war, how does it end? >> well, look, i think that the most likely scenario is that there is a cease-fire, hopefully brokered by the united states and egypt, and then we all go back to exactly where we were before. in a couple years we start this process all over again.
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at a certain point israel is going to have to recognize that hamas, whether it likes it or not, is the actual government in gaza, and it's going to have to figure out a long-term solution to maintaining a viable cease-fire and that might include actually easing the blockade against gaza. more importantly the palestinians themselves are being torn between two alternatives. there's the resistance and militant alternative that hamas represents, and then there's the accommodating moderate alternative that the palestinian authority represents, but the problem is that the palestinian authority despite having a peace process with the israelis, despite essentially giving in to most of israel's demands, has received nothing in return. it is no closer to achieving a two-state solution and an independent palestinian state than it was four, five, six years ago. the palestinians have to be told that if you stop fighting, you will get a state, but that just does not seem possible with this
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particular israeli government. >> talking about the conflict at hand right now, i mean, senator john mccain has suggested that bill clinton go in and mediate and maybe he could calm things down in the region. what do you think about that? >> whether it's bill clinton or whether it's the quartet, there has to be a robust american presence in this conflict. the notion that you hear so often, particularly among certain political groups here in the united states, is this is israel and the palestinians' problem. that the united states can't want peace more than the parties themselves want is actually completely misguided. without american leadership there can be no hope or possibility of a lasting peace process between israel and the palestinians, and this is something that the united states has a national security stake in. of course it benefits us to have peace and prosperity in this region. but without serious american leadership and, by the way, an
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equalized leadership, something that looks as though the united states is an equal mediator, that it is preventing bo-- presenting both the palestinian and the israeli interests in this conflict. without that we are likely to see conflicts like that until two-state solution becomes a distant memory. >> the u.s. government has appointed special envoy after special mediator after special mediator to come up with a middle east peace plan and it's always ended in failure. >> well, frankly, it's been a half-hearted attempt. regardless of who you blame for the continuing conflict between the israelis and the palestinians, every year since the oslo accords were signed, there has been more and more settlements in what's supposed to be the future of the palestinian state. a few more years and the demographic balance in israel/palestine is going to switch. there may not be a jewish majority state any longer. it is in israel's best interests
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to do whatever it takes to create an economically viable independent palestinian state. otherwise, we're talking about collective suicide on the part of israelis. >> reza, thank you so much for sticking around. we appreciate it. >> my pleasure. >> we'll be back. wanna see me get some great deals? it's a new way to get cash back deals, and it's called bankamerideals! i sign into my online banking... click the "cash back deals tab"... and pick the deals i want. i just use my bank of america debit or credit card when i pay,
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and then i get up to 15% cash back -- put into my account. ♪ i know, right? [ male announcer ] introducing bankamerideals, free for online banking customers. sign into your online banking to choose your deals today. free for online banking customers. oh, let me guess --ou see this? more washington gridlock. no, it's worse -- look, our taxes are about to go up. not the taxes on our dividends though, right? that's a big part of our retirement. oh, no, it's dividends, too. the rate on our dividends would more than double. but we depend on our dividends to help pay our bills. we worked hard to save. well, the president and congress have got to work together to stop this dividend tax hike. before it's too late.
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world. the petraeus scandal drags on with numerous theories as to why a decorated much admired former general would fall for a west point super fit harvard educated woman. dianne feinstein offered this on "meet the press." >> our tours are long, they are multiple. whether you're a private for a four-star, coming back into civilian society is difficult. here is a man, and you see "time" magazine, you see the medals he has, you see the stars. one day he takes all of that off. there's no driver. he gives an order at the cia. there's discussion, there's flack, people don't like this, and then he goes home to wash dishes. >> well, there's no doubt that returning to civilian life can be difficult for soldiers. "the washington post" had an interesting article on the perks four-star generals enjoy. this is from that article. quote, the commanders who lead the nation's military services enjoy an array of perks
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befitting a billionaire, including executive jets, palatial homes, drivers, security guards. their food is prepared by gourmet chefs. if they want music with their dinner parties, their staff can summon a spring quartet or a choir. he lost all that when he retired to become the cia director. with me now political science professor at hiram college and chief political correspondent for politic 365 jason johnson and republican strategist and cnn contributor anna navarro. good morning to both of you. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> first off, i'm not ignoring the fact that general petraeus spent years on the battlefield, that's serious. but when he lived life according to "the washington post" sort of like a billionaire. actually when he was still a general he lived life like that. when he came back as cia director, he didn't. what i'm asking is do you think mrs. petraeus would agree with senator feinstein? >> i have no idea what mrs. petraeus is thinking right now.
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i would not like to be in those shoes or a fly in that room, carol. i think what you're seeing -- i think actually the politicians, the senators have gone pretty easy and tried to be very understanding of general petraeus. what you see is all the years that he was in washington working the halls, and he was a fixture. you know, he did a lot of senate hearings. he really worked the politics in washington as part of his job as general, and i think you're seeing the fruits of that, which is that they feel sympathy towards him, they feel friendship towards him, and they feel very charitable towards him and mrs. petraeus. >> and, jason, i guess my second question, there was a time petraeus was escorted by 28 cars security to have socialite jill kelley's house in tampa. i get they need protection but do any need chefs and jets? >> part the reason the senate has been so nice is because those who live in glass houses
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shouldn't throw stones. i have no problem with our generals being treated with a great deal of respect and having a great deal of perks, but that's not why this man cheated. i can speak personally. i grew up in a military family. i was around the military all the time. these things happen. they happen with captains, with sergeants. so this is more of a reflection of military culture in general. it's not because he live sos well and he was trying to recapture his youth. there's just a lot of affairs going on and it happens with powerful men and women. >> anna, i guess it's sort of intriguing to me that he's being treated one way and the women involved in this scandal are seemingly being treated in an entirely different way. >> well, that's because the women in this scandal don't have friends in washington and don't have friends in the press and don't have spokespeople speaking to the press on their behalf, and, you know, and i think it's because of the respect that general petraeus has earned. you know, carol, i know a lot of generals. the southern command is stationed here in miami. in fact, later today i am going
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to the change of command for south com. we have a retiring general and a new general coming in. most of these guys are really grounded, good people. some of them get caught up in the trappings of the job and the transition into a normal life becomes difficult, but i think it's a warning for all of us. you know, when you let your position and your job become completely intertwined with your identity and your persona, when you lose that position, then you lose your identity, and the transition becomes that much more difficult. but i do think that most of these guys are grounded. they go on to good private sector lives, and, look, this is not rocket science. you want a private life, you go to the private sector. you want the perks that come with public live, you've got a public -- with public sector, you've got a public life, no private life. >> i think she said it very well, jason. >> look, i mean, look, i think that's all perfectly reasonable, but i think again it doesn't have anything to do with this
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transition. if you're the kind of person who is going to cheat, you're the kind of person who is going it cheat. we saw this ten years ago with jesse jackson. he ended up having an affair with his biographer as well. a lot of these things have to do with ego, with a sense of power. to be honest, yes, i think the wip are being treated very differently. it's not necessarily because petraeus has more connections. i think it's because in his particular instance, he's the person who stepped down. he's the person who said, all right, i am the first person to face consequences for this, so i think the women in some respects are being treated lighter because they haven't at least at this point haven't lost as much as he has. >> interesting. jason johnson, anna navarro, thank you. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪
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this is cnn breaking news. >> we're hearing of more explosions in gaza. we want to take you now though to the egyptian border, to an
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area called the rafah crossing. this is where humanitarian aid from egypt is going to gaza. no weapons, just humanitarian aid, things like food and medical supplies. reza, what are you hearing there? >> reporter: carol, obviously the most intense israeli air strikes have been taking place in northern gaza, but we're seeing and hearing some air strikes in southern gaza as well, and we're close to that location. behind us is the famous crossing. beyond that lights is gaza. we're standing in egypt. about 20 minutes ago we heard a huge explosion. earlier in the day four separate explosions. we've spoken to egyptian security officials here. they believe those explosions are being caused boo i israeli drones flying up above. they believe the israeli drones are trying to send a message for anyone who is on this side of the border not to cross into gaza.
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now, we can't independently verify these are drone strikes but throughout the day, even right now, we're hearing the buzz of what sounds like israeli drone strikes, carol. when things aren't exploding, this place is relatively quiet. supply line, nonperishable food, fuel trucks being taken into gaza. >> have the egyptians been able to freely take that kind of stuff into gaza? >> reporter: if it's nonmilitary equipment, they have. this is a restricted crossing. you can only go back in and out if you have special permission. so if it's an ambulance, if it's truckloads of sand, if it's other nonperishable food items, it looks like they're freely taking them back in and out. also, we've seen some activists, delegations of political leaders here going in there to show their solidarity for the palestinians in there. we haven't seen any military equipment being taken in there,
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carol. >> reza sayah on the egyptian side. thank you so much, reza. we're going to take a quick break. we'll be back with much more after this. i have a cold... i took dayquil, but i still have a runny nose. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't work on runny noses. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have an antihistamine. really? [ male announcer ] really. alka-seltzer plus cold and cough fights your worst cold symptoms, plus has a fast acting antihistamine to relieve your runny nose. [ sighs ] thank you! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ male announcer ] to learn more about the cold truth and save $1 visit alka-seltzer on facebook.
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coming up on 50 minutes past the hour. taking a look at other top stories. vice president joe biden gets a close look at the damage caused by superstorm sandy. he met with first responders who lost their homes and he sat in on a briefing on the recovery efforts in seaside heights, new jersey. >> the president has made it clear that we're going to do everything we can to make sure that the corps is fully funded, that we have -- fema has what it needs, and that all the programs that exist under the auspices of the federal government are not only continue to exist but are funded so that we can make sure that this area of the country is
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fully, fully, fully restored. the florida congressional race between controversial republican incumbent allen west and democrat patrick murphy may finally be over. a recount showed murphy holding his slim lead of less than 2,000 votes. now it's just up to the state election board to certify the results. allen though has refused to concede. this hunk of metal may not look like much but it's the soyuz cap sal that lust-- capsu just landed. those astronauts and cosmonauts were up there for four months. more people will be driving this thanksgiving holiday. aaa estimates 39 million people will drive 50 miles or more. that's up from 38 million a year ago. luckily gas prices are expected to drop some more before you hit the road. choices of green giant vegetables it's easy to eat like a giant... ♪
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imagine being excruciating pain and being told you have to wait three months to see a doctor. with an aging population, we're facing a critical sthortage of doctors. here is cnn's casey wian. >> reporter: george hops' rheumatoid arthritis pain was manageable. he had an active job in the las vegas food service industry until one day last year. >> all of a sudden one morning when i woke up, it was like i thought i had a stroke or something. my feet, my knees, my hands, i couldn't get out of the bed.
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i wasn't able to even dress myself. >> reporter: he called his arthritis doctor, but the office was closed. haupt didn't know his doctor was semi retired only seeing patients three days a week. >> i was told there's only five places to go in vegas, and i tried three other ones, and the waiting period was three to four months. >> reporter: a trip to the er provided little relief. >> three times in the last year where i couldn't get out of bed for two days, three days, i actually prayed i wouldn't live and that's for me was the low point. >> reporter: it's a growing problem for baby boomers. >> we are booking out into mid january. >> reporter: they need care more often but doctors themselves are aging and retiring, and medical schools aren't producing enough replacements to keep pace. by 2020 the united states faces a projected shortage of nearly 92,000 doctors according to the association of medical colleges.
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that's seven times worse than the shortage that existed just two years ago. >> the access to health care is clearly affected. people wait longer to see their physicians for everyday kinds of illnesses. those illnesses get worse and by the time you see a physician, you might need to be admitted to a hospital. >> reporter: and it might put your life in jeopardy. margot johnson had a stroke last year linked to a rare autoimmune disease. she was referred to dr. foreman, a specialist. >> it was four or five months down the road before dr. foreman could see me, and even with my neurologist's intervention he was only able to move it up a week. >> reporter: that had to be scary. >> yeah, i could have died. >> reporter: margot is improving thanks to proper treatment, and so is george but the doctor says the shortage of physicians is likely to worsen partly because of 2010 health care reform law which will expand insurance coverage to tens of millions of americans. >> you will have a large number of individuals who have health care insurance.
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who is going to take care of them? >> reporter: the law provides funding for physician residency programs, but for some baby boomers, that prescription may come too late. casey wians, cnn, henderson, nevada. and i'm carol costello. thank you for joining me today. cnn continues after a quick break. [ male announcer ] considering all your mouth goes through, do you really think brushing is enough to keep it clean? while brushing misses germs in 75% of your mouth, listerine® cleans virtually your entire mouth. so take your oral health to a whole new level. listerine®... power to your mouth™. nevada. stand a choice.hritis pn take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news.
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